A bad credit score can prevent you from achieving your life
goals. Without a good credit score, you'll be prevented from buying a house,
purchasing a car, taking out personal loans and opening credit cards - even
getting a new cell phone. If you've slipped up in the past you'll need to work
hard to get where you need to be. Here are some expert tips to help you fix
your credit- FAST!
1) Check Your Credit Report ? now! Each U.S. resident is entitled to a free copy of their credit report from each of the three major agencies once every twelve months. You'll get a good idea of how much you need to improve your score by, and you'll see if there are any errors in your credit report. If you believe there are errors, begin disputing them immediately. The official site to obtain your credit card report is https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Be careful, other sites advertising this service may be scams.
2) Setup Payment Reminders: Many people damage their credit score by forgetting to pay bills, even when they have the money to do so. Most credit card companies and banks offer email or text reminders to alert you when a payment is due. Setting up automatic monthly payments is also a good idea, but only if you're sure your checking account will have the sufficient balance to pay the bill each month.
3) If You Can't Pay ? Call Someone: If you're experiencing financial difficulties and can't pay one or more of your bills, call the company immediately ? before payment is due ? to discuss your options. Letting your accounts go into default or collection is a major hit to your credit score, and some companies will allow you to pay part of the amount due. It's also important to note that consulting a credit counselor will not affect your credit score.
4) Don't Build Credit Too Fast: While the popular adage states that you must "have credit to get credit", don't open up too many lines of credit too quickly with the goal of increasing your total credit. This will decrease your average account age, which can have a large effect if you don't have a lot of credit. It may also look risky if you are a new credit user.
Old Cards: In an effort to pay down debt, many people stop using credit
cards once they've paid off the balance, even going as far as cutting them up
and throwing them away. While it's not good to carry a lot of debt, if you
don't use a card for a long time, the issuers may decide to close the account or
stop reporting to the credit bureaus. In fact, these oldest credit cards can
improve your credit score if you use them occasionally and always pay the
balance in full.
While improving your credit score may be painstaking, putting in the work now will ensure that you have all the credit you need available to you for years to come. Internalizing these tips will help you build the money management skills necessary to lead a successful life.